12 May 2007

Wham! Bam!! Exam Cram!!!

True to my world, I went out and bought an Exam Cram 2 book for the CNA Certification. I thought among the materials I picked up from the NetWare class last November had a practice exam, but none was found. There were some DVDs featuring the course on video but I'm in no mood to learn by watching TV. The practice exam that I was sure the instructor sent to me prior to the class, in PDF no less, thought to be surely on my Mac, was nowhere to be found either. I hate it when even my digital life becomes messy like my meatspace life. Just because you collected the info in digital format doesn't necessarily mean you have it. You still have to know something about it to find it. In this case, I thought it was an Acrobat file (PDF), but alas I was wrong.

I like to study by reading books and since both my NetWare books were old (NetWare versions 5 and 4.1!), I had to get a new book. Having a 25% off coupon from Border's helped soften the blow to my wallet.

The book Novell NetWare 6.5 CNA Exam 050-686 from the Cram Exam 2 series was written by Warren E. Wyrostek. It's not one of those monstrous volume that covers the history of computing, but just the gist of the CNA exam. It includes two practice exams in the book and a CD with a drill program and the book in PDF. The practice exams are in multiple choice format so I thought I could easily print them out from the PDF on the CD. I very much don't want to write in my book and the chance of using scrap paper was too good to pass. Not so faster, buster! The PDF is password-protected. On a Windoze machine, the Print menu option is even ghosted out. On the Mac, it's available but selecting it and you are prompted for the password. I guess they don't want the PDF to float around the Internet and fall into the hands of people who didn't pay for the book. I still managed to print out one practice exam by using the Mac's window capture keyboard shortcut. The exam came out to like fifteen pages or fifteen pictures. Import the pictures into iPhoto, select them all and print them out to a new PDF file, and voila I have a PDF of the exam again. It's true that the resulting pictures are not sharp, but the words are perfectly readable. I did have to adjust Preview's view option to make its window minimalist so that only the window outline and the window's content were captured. Us geeks just love to overcome technical barriers. Actually, if I were geekier, I would have written a program to force feed password to the print dialog box until it's accepted, but I'm not trying to take a hacking certificate here, just the CNA for now.

No comments:

Post a Comment